Here’s how public can participate in Arizona redistricting process

Sep 17, 2021, 2:00 PM
(Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission)...
(Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission)
(Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission)

PHOENIX – The panel tasked with redrawing Arizona’s congressional and legislative districts has set a series of public hearings about the highly anticipated process over the next three weeks.

“We welcome the involvement and voices of all interested individuals and groups to become part of this critical process that will remain in place for the next ten years,” Erika Neuberg, chairwoman of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, said in a press release.

Earlier this week, the AIRC approved its basic starting-point grid maps, which will be molded in the coming months into the boundaries for the state’s nine congressional and 30 legislative districts for the next decade.

Under Arizona law, the panel started from scratch using the latest census data. Final districts must be roughly equal in population and take into account “the federal Voting Rights Act, district shape, geographical features, respect for communities of interest and potential competitiveness,” according to the AIRC website.

How the commission — made up of two Democrats, two Republicans and Neuberg, who is an independent — changes the grid map could impact the party balance in the state Legislature and Arizona’s U.S. House delegation.

Two early commission decisions, on the mapping consultant and the panel’s executive director, left the Democrats unhappy. But it remains unclear where Neuberg will come down on more substantive decisions.

Anybody can comment on the AIRC website in advance of the upcoming meetings, which will be livestreamed.

Here’s when and where the public will have the opportunity to speak during five hearings at main and satellite locations across the state:

Tuesday, Sept. 21, 4 p.m.

  • Main – Red Mountain Multigenerational Center, 7550 E. Adobe St., Mesa
  • Satellites – Yuma Civic Center, 1440 W. Desert Hills Drive, Yuma; Navajo Nation Training Center (limit 25 participants onsite, face masks required), Morgan Boulevard, Building 2740, Window Rock

Thursday, Sept. 23, noon

  • Main – Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 E. 2nd St., Scottsdale
  • Satellites – Radisson Hotel, 777 N. Pinal Ave., Casa Grande; Sierra Suites, 391 E. Fry Blvd., Sierra Vista

Saturday, Sept. 25, 10 a.m.

  • Main – Desert Willow Conference Center, 4340 E. Cotton Center Blvd., Phoenix
  • Satellite – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 3700 Willow Creek Road, Prescott

Wednesday, Sept. 29, 4 p.m.

  • Main – Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center, 33606 N. 60th St., Scottsdale
  • Satellite – Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave., Tucson

Thursday, Oct. 7, 4 p.m.

  • Main – The Vista Center for the Arts, 15660 N. Parkview Place, Surprise
  • Satellites – High Country Conference Center, 201 W. Butler Ave., Flagstaff; Cesar Chavez Cultural Center, 1015 N. Main St., San Luis; Kayenta Township Town Hall (limit 25 participants onsite, face masks required), 100 N. Highway 163, Kayenta

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Here’s how public can participate in Arizona redistricting process